Review by ash5031
"There are other game in the Starry Skies"
I am a new player to the Dragon Quest game series, but I have seen and heard about a number of the older games. I heard all about how fun the Dragon Quest/Warrior games were and how they were what made kids' childhood gaming experiences amazing. Based off of the things that I was told, I bought Dragon Quest IX when I got my DSi XL. Big mistake. Seeing that I am not a long-time player of the series, I went in treating the game like any other new game I buy. The result? I wish I could have rented the game before I bought it and read some reviews by true gamers and not just biased fans. There were many things in the game that really should have gotten more work and attention. Unfortunately, those problems were not negligible, and brutally crippled the game. If you were planning on playing an RPG for even just enjoyment, I would definitely try a final fantasy game. If you want, specifically, a DS game, try Radiant Historia, a game with an actual plot, character development, and music that fits the game's mood.
First of all, the story! It is definitely the most important part of any game. It's the plot that gets the player into the game. It is the driving factor, the motive. Dragon Quest IX does not do a good job here. They employed the basic save the world and try to become stronger, and tougher than the final boss that could kill you through the clothes you buy for a ridiculous amount of money by looking at you.
The game starts off really slow, having you talk to everyone and exploring boring areas. However, suddenly, your character's home gets destroyed by the cliché mysterious evil. After 30 minutes of trying to figure out what the heck you're supposed to be doing, the game throws you, finally, into the opening cut-scene and credits.
The graphics in this game were amazing! During the opening cutscene As for the rest of the game, the graphics were merely passable. One major thing that brought me ire was the overworld. For a DS game, it was pretty low quality. You could clearly see the individual map tiles that made me the ground and the numerous tree-bushes.
The controls were fairly smooth. Moving about the overworld and the battle mechanics flowed really well. However, when you tried to climb down a rope or a ladder, or something, you would have to press the A button. This to me was foreign because your character should be able to just climb something by pressing in that direction on the directional pad. This is no longer the early 1990's, we have the technology to recognize automatically climbing. As for the battle mechanics, they were easy to learn, except the using an equipped item. Normally, you equip a shield and sword and you use the fight command. However, in this Dragon Quest game, you can sometimes use the equipped item for a secondary effect. They don't come out and tell you which item you can use in this manner. From my knowledge, they did this is the first game of the series. And once again, I reply to this mechanic; we have the technology to not have to resort to old, out-dated game mechanics. Another mechanic that I don't like is that the game doesn't give you characters, you make them. This way, they don't have back-story, and you don't really care if they die. In all good game, the hero's sidekicks always have interesting back-stories and side quests. It is probably one of the major flaws of Dragon Quest IX.
The music in this game isn't actually that bad. It's not good enough for me to want to download the soundtrack, but I guess it does the job, just being background music. There is definite improvement. The sad music needs to be more touching. You see music remix albums on ocremix.org featuring games like Legend of Zelda, Mario, Kirby, and even from other game companies. You don't see anything on Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior.
Replay Value: 3/10
Would I replay this game? Probably not. The only reason I could see for me to replay is when they get stuck in the game and have no choice but to start over. The story is nothing you would want to put the hero through another time. Plus, your sidekicks are easily replaceable. All you have to do is go to the recruitment center and make a new character. There are no interesting puzzles, side-quests or even optional bosses to replay.
Basically, I would not recommend this game to any RPG fan. If you were a Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior fan in the past, perhaps you would enjoy the endless hours of grinding out levels on the same palette-swap monsters with characters that you could care less about.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 12/13/11
Game Release: Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (US, 07/11/10)
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